Healthy Fall (Tr)eats That Won’t Wreck Your Progress
When I think of fall, I think of sweater weather, pumpkin patches, my couch, and FOOD. There’s just something about the temperature dropping that makes me want to bake pies, drink hot sugary drinks, buy a dozen fuzzy blankets, and re-watch Gilmore Girls for the 56th time. Ya feel me? I think most of us can agree that the fall doesn’t really make us think about sweating it out on the treadmill or eating fresh salads. A lot of us consider simply not gaining any weight during this time of year a win. Because how on earth are you supposed to just NOT eat grandma’s homemade cinnamon rolls or skip the annual chocolate festival?! Well, first of all, you need to get past the all-or-nothing mindset. You can still have your favorite non-negotiable treats AND make progress on your goals. And you can also have a lot of other treats… *enter this blog post*
I was tired of feeling like I couldn’t fully indulge my warm, fuzzy, fall-loving self so I went on the hunt for fall treats that gave me this experience but also fit into my daily calorie goal. (Yes, they exist!!) So, here we go:
I’ve always been a fan of Kodiak Cakes so when I saw that they came out with a pumpkin version, I had to try it. This flavor is not overpowering (which is exactly how I like my pumpkin-flavored things) and the texture is super fluffy. It’s also got hints of cinnamon. You could make pancakes, waffles, or even bake with it! (You’d never know it’s actually good for you.) With 190 calories per serving (~3 pancakes), 10 g of protein, and 5 g of fiber–not to mention all of the whole grains and flaxseed (!!)–this one comes out a winner in my book. Found at Target.
BREAD. nuff’ said. This pumpkin spice swirl bread is my new go-to for all things toast and breakfast-related .(French toast anyone?) The pumpkin-flavoring is not overpowering. I have nothing but good things to say about this one. 110 calories for 1 slice and nothing weird like high fructose corn syrup on the ingredients list. You’re welcome. Found at my local Kroger.
We have quite the breakfast theme going so far but if you’re anything like me, breakfast foods are not reserved for a certain time of day. This oatmeal is very pumpkin-y and plenty sweet. I’m sure it’d be good with some pecan or banana mix-ins. 160 calories per packet and the ingredients list is rather short–cue a winner! Found at Walmart.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal just got an upgrade! This version is just as good, hits the spot, and with only 110 calories per serving (but let’s be real, you’ll probably have two) and 9 ingredients, it’s an item you’ll want to put on your grocery list. Found at Sprouts.
Can the words “apple” and “chips” really be used together? What a world! These are just as addicting as actual chips but you can actually finish an entire bag of these without 3 consecutive days of guilt. For the whole bag (because will you really stop after 1/3?), it’s 340 calories and 12 g of fiber. The perfect cinnamon-y treat! Found at Target.
I’ve been waiting for the time to gush about this one. The day Halo top announced they’d be releasing a pumpkin pie flavor was the day I broke my uggs out of storage and started lighting candles in my house. This has (sadly?) MADE my fall. This is probably in my top 3 favorite flavors (the other 2 being red velvet and the one right below this). It’s creamy, pumpkin-y, and I wish it wasn’t only seasonal. The mix-in (which I think is cream cheese?) can get a little waxy if you don’t let it soften a bit before you eat. I usually can’t wait that long. It took me forever to find a store that carried it but I finally found it at Target. You can see if it’s anywhere near you with their flavor finder here.
This flavor has my favorite mix-in yet–actual cinnamon roll pieces! It’s very cinnamon-y and very suitable for netflix binges. It’s pretty much the cold version of all you’ve ever wanted in a cinnamon roll. Thank me later. (If you’ve never had Halo Top in general–you’re going to want to get on this train ASAP. Low cal, high protein, super delicious, and fitness goal-conducive).
Pumpkin Spice Kombucha. To preface this: I don’t like kombucha. I don’t know what made me think that I would somehow like this one just because it was pumpkin-spice. (I am obviously not immune to the marketing ploys). But I figured kombucha = health and pumpkin spice = perfect for this blog post. Though I don’t think I’ll be a return customer, I actually did end up drinking the whole thing (because #health) but also because I didn’t dislike it as much as I remember disliking kombucha the first time. If this is your jam and you like carbonation (I’m not a big fan), you might like this one. 35 calories per bottle and probiotic benefits up the wazoo. Found at Sprouts.
Good ol pumpkin itself. What is hilarious is that most “pumpkin-spice” foods actually have NO pumpkin whatsoever actually in them. Pumpkin is REALLY good for us. But as Americans, we have to add sugar and butter and chemicals in order to enjoy it. So let’s get back to the basics. This little can is so versatile. You can bake with it, add it to your smoothies, mix it in some oatmeal, or even eat it by the spoonful if that’s up your alley. Use the google machine and get creative. I plan to “healthify” some pumpkin bread or pie recipes soon, and I’ll make sure to give you the inside scoop!
Well, that’s a wrap! Finding and tasting these various items was no difficult task and I’d gladly do it again (probably will due to egg nog season quickly approaching). If you are resourceful, creative, and put a little extra effort in–you CAN enjoy this season and #allthefoods without feeling deprived AND simultaneously make progress on your biggest health and physique goals. HAPPY PUMPKIN-ING!